Becoming an Egg Donor at TFI: Frequently Asked Questions


What are the basic requirements to donate at Tennessee Fertility Institute?

To be accepted into TFI’s egg donor program, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:
• Have had a normal pap smear exam within the last 1 – 3 years
• Between the ages of 21 to 31 (donation must occur before the donor’s 32nd birthday)
• In good health
• A body mass index (BMI) under 30; preferred BMI 19-28
• Non-smoker; preferred no vaping
• Non-drug user
• Regular menstrual cycles (patients can be on birth control pills / have some IUDs that regulate cycles)
• No inherited genetic disorders
• No infectious diseases
• A college degree or some college preferred
• Minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent

What is the application process?

Online Application: To start the incredible journey of becoming an egg donor with Tennessee Fertility Institute, the first step is to fill out our initial donor application, which takes about 3-5 minutes to complete. Once we’ve reviewed your initial application and you’ve been approved, we’ll send you the full questionnaire.
Interview & Medical Screening: Once the full questionnaire has been completed, our team will schedule a telephone interview to get to know you better. From there, qualified candidates will move on to the screening phase, which involves extensive medical, genetic, and psychological screenings. These tests include a physical exam, screening for infectious diseases, bloodwork, and a transvaginal ultrasound to assess ovarian reserve.

What is the procedure process?

Stimulation: After a candidate has successfully completed the screening phase, the stimulation cycle and egg retrieval procedure are scheduled. The stimulation cycle involves taking self-injected fertility medications so that the follicles within the ovaries release multiple eggs in a single cycle. During the stimulation cycle, you will visit our clinic every day to monitor your progress. This phase takes about two weeks.
Egg Retrieval: Once the time is right, we will finalize your appointment for egg retrieval. Performed under sedation, egg retrieval involves using an aspirating needle guided by ultrasound to gently suction the eggs out of their follicles. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.

What is the time commitment?

Prescreening: ~ 2-3 weeks
Detailed Screening: ~4-6 weeks
Stimulation: ~2 weeks
Egg Retrieval: 30 minutes
Recovery: ~2 weeks

Are there any risks with egg donation?

Research shows there is no link between egg donation and infertility, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or any other diseases.

Egg retrieval is performed under ultrasound guidance so we can see exactly what we are doing. However, like any surgical procedure, there is a small chance of bleeding and damage to the pelvic organs. Antibiotics are given to reduce the risk of infection. These problems are rare and occur in less than one percent of patients.

Can I become pregnant during treatment?

Yes. That’s why it’s important to avoid intercourse from the time you start the hormone medication until ~2-3 weeks after the post-retrieval recovery period is completed. This will prevent an unwanted pregnancy and ensure the cycle goes as planned.

Will being an egg donor impact my everyday life?

Outside of the required appointments and recommended two days off (one day off for the egg retrieval and one recovery day), being an egg donor typically does not impact your day-to-day routine. At TFI, we recommend the following:

• Abstain from sexual activity while taking stimulation medications
• Abstain from sexual activity during the ~2-3 week recovery period post-egg retrieval procedure
• Abstain from high impact, high intensity activity during the ~2-3 week recovery period post-egg retrieval procedure such as
– No running, jumping, twisting, or heavy lifting exercises
– Walking outside or on a treadmill is fine

Most patients can return to their normal daily activities without issue. The ovaries expand in size and can twist or bounce around in your body, which can cause complications like ovarian torsion. This is why we ask patients to limit strenuous activity for their safety.

Can I still have babies if I donate my eggs?

Yes. Research shows that egg donors are just as likely to be fertile as people who have never donated eggs. People are born with a finite number of eggs, and there are only a limited number available each month. During a normal monthly cycle, only one egg matures and ovulates. The remainder die off and are no longer available. The egg retrieval process stimulates the ovaries to mature eggs that would otherwise not be used in a normal monthly cycle.

Who will cover the cost of the egg donation process?

TFI will cover the costs of all pre-evaluation visits and lab testing for all donor applicants. If a donor applicant is approved, TFI will also cover costs for all medications, monitoring visits, and the egg retrieval procedure.

Who will receive my eggs?

Typically, the recipient of donor eggs is a TFI patient with a history of infertility, meaning they have tried but were unable to build their family through other means. In some cases, the recipient is postmenopausal or above a certain age and no longer able to use their own eggs. Occasionally, it is a same-sex male couple that doesn’t have eggs and needs a donor.

Will I be anonymous?

Yes, if preferred. When in office, donors will be assigned a pseudonym.

Will I be compensated?

Yes. Egg donors in our program can earn up to $7,000 in compensation for their first cycle. Egg donors who donate six times (the maximum number) can earn a cumulative compensation of $49,000. Please note that this income is subject to tax exemptions.

As a potential donor, why should I choose the TFI program?

Choosing to become an egg donor at Tennessee Fertility Institute (TFI) is a unique experience that allows you to help aspiring parents achieve their family-building dreams – from infertile couples & individuals to LGBTQ+ families to single aspiring parents. You’ll receive significant compensation, and our dedicated physicians and staff will provide thorough medical screening and care, ensuring your health and well-being throughout the process. At TFI, we are immensely grateful for your interest in our egg donation program.

If you would like to speak to someone about the egg donation process, application, or compensation, please call (615) 721-6250 or email [email protected] .

Key Sources: Transvaginal Ultrasound (Cleveland Clinic, May 2022); Testing and Interpreting Measures of Ovarian Reserve (ASRM, December 2020); Ovarian Stimulation and Egg Retrieval (Stanford Medicine, 2024)